Institute Research Investigator - Neurodegeneration Consortium

Houston, Texas
August 20 2021
Health Sciences
Organization Type
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center aims to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation, and the world, through outstanding programs that integrate patient care, research, and prevention, and through education for undergraduate and graduate students, trainees, professionals, employees, and the public.

MD Anderson Therapeutics Discovery Division
Within The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center lies the Therapeutics Discovery Division (TDD), a powerful engine driving the future of new targeted, immune- and cell-based therapies. Therapeutics Discovery eliminates the bottlenecks that hamper traditional drug discovery by employing a multidisciplinary team of dedicated researchers, doctors, drug developers, and scientific experts working together to develop small-molecule drugs, biologics, and cellular therapies. Our unique structure and collaborative approach allow the team to work with agility, bringing novel medicines from concept to clinic quickly and efficiently - all under the same roof.

The Neurodegeneration Consortium
The Neurodegeneration Consortium (NDC) is a collaborative enterprise involving a team of drug discovery scientists at MD Anderson and academic collaborators at UT San Antonio, Baylor College of Medicine, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and New York University. The aim of the NDC is to gain an improved understanding of the biology driving neurodegenerative diseases and advance effective, novel and targeted treatments for people who suffer from such diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.

The Institute Research Investigator applies extensive neurobiology expertise to advance drug discovery and development programs within a cross-functional research team by identifying and validating novel neurodegeneration drug targets. Specifically, with guidance, the ideal candidate will deploy and integrate state-of-the-art disease models, molecular, cellular, pathology and computational biology tools and expertise that reside within NDC, TDD, MD Anderson and our corporate and academic partners. Success will be measured by the ability of the Institute Research Investigator to incorporate and translate deep biology insights to move early-stage programs toward IND-enabling preclinical studies.

Key Functions
1. Apply expert knowledge of neurobiology to enable progression of innovative drug candidates toward preclinical development through leadership and collaborative experimental activities
2. With oversight and guidance, contribute to multiple cross-functional translational biology programs to identify and validate hypotheses and potential biomarkers that can be tested in clinical trials
3. Collaborate with corporate and academic partners to execute key program objectives; develop and manage collaborative relationships wth internal and external groups
4. With minimal guidance and oversight, design, execute, analyze and interpret in vitro and in vivo experiments supporting early stage drug discovery programs
5. Contribute expertise and insights to project teams as a key contributor
6. Monitor, track and document activities and deliverables
7. Interpret, present, and report research findings at internal meetings and external scientific conferences
8. Use independent thinking and leadership skills to manage resources, help guide program objectives and make impactful contributions to the overall goals of the NDC
9. Work well under pressure and drive projects to meet timelines


Requried: Bachelor's degree in biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, enzymology, pharmacology, chemistry or related field.

Preferred: Master's or PhD in one of the natural sciences or related field.


Required: Six years experience of relevant research experience in laboratory With Master's degree, four years of required experience. With a PhD in a natural science or Medical degree, no experience required.

Preferred: The ideal candidate will possess:
1. Deep knowledge of neurobiology, neuroinflammation and neuroimmunology to inform on development of novel drug candidates
2. Experience with genetic (RNAi, cDNAs) and pharmacological (small molecule inhibitors or antibodies) approaches to study target biology utilizing biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology methods and assays to drive program biology
3. Experience utilizing mouse models of neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation to enable target discovery, validation, and drug development
4. Experience working in a multidiscinplinary team to advance project goals
5. Broad knowledge and experience in areas of neurobiology including, but not limited to neuroimmunology, immunology, neuroinflammation, neurodegeneration and cell-cell interactions in the CNS as evidenced by publication record in peer-reviewed journals
6. Strong data analysis skills, ability to interpret results, design of follow-up experiments, troubleshoot issues with assay performance, and effectively present results and conclusions to co-workers, collaborators and senior leadership
7. Evidence of working in multifunctional teams of scientists to deliver on program objectives
8. Evidence of independent thinking and leadership skills are vital
9. Ability to work well under pressure, drive projects to meet critical timelines and display flexibility to accommodate rapidly changing priorities and deadlines is required
10. Collaborative attitude and ability to work in a team-based environment is crucial for this position
11. Excellent oral and written communication skills
12. Experience mentoring junior scientists is a plus

It is the policy of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to provide equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, age, national origin, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or any other basis protected by institutional policy or by federal, state or local laws unless such distinction is required by law.

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